Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious

The positive aspect of the first type of complex, namely the overdevelopment of the maternal instinct, is identical with that well-known image of the mother which has been glorified in all ages and all tongues.

This is the mother-love which is one of the most moving and unforgettable memories of cur lives, the mysterious root of all growth and change; the love that means homecoming, shelter, and the long silence from which everything begins and in which everything ends. Intimately known and yet strange like Nature, lovingly tender and yet cruel like fate, joyous and untiring giver of life-mater dolorosa and mute implacable portal that closes upon the dead.

Mother is motherlove, my experience and my secret.

Why risk saying too much, too much that is false and inadequate and beside the point, about that human being who was our mother, the accidental carrier of that great experience which includes herself and myself and all mankind, and indeed the whole of created nature, the experience of life whose children we are?

The attempt to say these things has always been made, and probably always will be; but a sensitive person cannot in all fairness load that enormous burden of meaning, responsibility, duty, heaven and hell, on to the shoulders of one frail and fallible human being-so deserving of love, indulgence, understanding, and forgiveness who was our mother.

He knows that the mother carries for us that inborn image of the mater natura and mater spi1’itualis, of the totality of life of which we are a small and helpless part.

Nor should we hesitate for one moment to relieve the human mother of this appalling burden, for our own sakes as well as hers.

It is just this massive weight of meaning that ties us to the mother and chains her to her child, to the physical and mental of both.

A mother-complex is not got rid of  blindly reducing the mother to human proportions.

Besides that we run the risk of dissolving the experience “Mother” into atoms, thus destroying something supremely valuable and throwing away the golden key which a good fairy laid in cradle.

That is why mankind has always instinctively added the pre-existent divine pair to the personal parents-the “god”, father and “god” -mother of the newborn child-so that, from sheer unconsciousness or shortsighted rationalism, he should never forget himself so far as to invest his own parents with divinity. ~Carl Jung, CW 9i, Para 172